Monday, August 9, 2010


Chatsworth has Attics to Let


Image copyright by Bakewell Derbyshire In a new twist on the American practice of garage sales, the 12th Duke of Devonshire is selling off family bric-a-brac from his vast ("the length of village streets," according to the Guardian) attics.

Rediscovered beneath layers of dust, these objects were once part of the fabric of the many great houses that have featured in the Devonshire family's history. Chatsworth, Devonshire House (on Piccadilly in London, demolished in the 1920s), Bolton Abbey, Chiswick House, Hardwick Hall, Lismore Castle, and Compton Place have all contributed items.

The sale comprises 20,000 objects in over 1,000 lots, ranging in value from £20 to £200,000, covering over 500 years of Devonshire history. These rediscovered objects are from many of the Devonshire estates: Chatsworth, Devonshire House (on Piccadilly in London, demolished in the 1920s), Bolton Abbey, Chiswick House, Hardwick Hall, Lismore Castle, and Compton Place. Sotheby hopes to raise £25m, a conservative approximation. Go here for images of some of the objects on sale.

Image copyright by The TelegraphThis lovely carved white marble chimneypiece by William Kent, featuring George II circa 1735 is from the Saloon and estimated at £200k—300k.

Image copyright by The Guardian The sale will also feature a splendid royal scandal: the massive bookcase that was used to conceal the door through which Prinny (the future George IV) passed to meet the Roman Catholic Maria Fitzherbert in the next room at Devonshire House. The bookcase is estimated at up to £80,000.

So, if you are in need of a dining table that would comfortably seat 60 or a red carpet 62ft in length, hie yourself off to Chatsworth for the public viewing (by catalog only, check link for ordering) October 1—4 and for the auction October 5—7.


2 comments:

heidenkind said...

Gad, I'd be happy just to get the freaking catalog!

Keira Soleore said...

Heh, you and me, too. Though then those 20 pound items would be too tempting.